Each May we honor the many contributions of our seniors in service to the country by celebrating Older Americans Month.
At the inception of Older Americans Month, known then as Senior Citizen’s Month, many seniors were living in poverty with very few programs to assist them.
Today we have many programs that assist seniors, though many still need help.
The Older Americans Act (OAA), passed in 1965, established the Administration on Aging (AoA). This legislation has worked toward providing seniors and caregivers with health and nutrition programs, community service employment and elder rights protection. It also trains personnel in the field of aging so that they can better serve seniors.
Because the OAA turns 50 years old this year, the theme of this year’s celebration is Get Into the Act.
Across the country agencies, communities and programs will be focusing their attention on our seniors as part of Older Americans Month Get Into the Act through events, fairs and a variety of celebrations.
Get Into the Act
The theme of this years Older Americans Month is designed to focus on how older adults are taking charge of their health, engaging in their communities, and making positive impacts on the lives of others.
It will applaud seniors who are getting into the act for their own health and to help others in their communities.
Engaging with the community is a great way for seniors to improve their own well-being while continuing to serve others.
Events across the country will be getting into the act by promoting ways to further engage seniors in the community, advocate for the prevention of elder abuse and promote healthy aging wherever possible.
What’s being done in your community?
Your Community Gets Into the Act
There are many ways that communities can help celebrate Older Americans Month and applaud seniors’ many contributions to the success of the community.
You can check your local newspaper or Area on Aging to find out how your community will plan to thank their seniors and create even more ways for them to engage with others in the community.
Here are some things that communities across the country will be doing to Get Into the Action.
- Starting a community garden or helping the local school create their own school garden
- Coordinating neighborhood clean-ups
- Bringing together groups to cook or otherwise provide for those less fortunate in the area; volunteering at a local food bank
- Asking older community members to serve in leadership positions for the big day, sharing the wealth of their experience with others
- Emphasizing the importance of many generations coming together for common causes that benefit everyone by having a fun day or carnival that has activities for every age
- Starting a mentoring program where seniors help children succeed in school
- Setting up a lecture series where seniors can learn more about an important topic, such as abuse prevention, or where seniors can teach others about their passion
- Sponsoring health fairs so that seniors and their community can learn healthy habits
- Offering healthy living classes such as yoga or tai chi
- Giving nutrition classes to learn about healthy eating
- Holding a game day that will stimulate our brains to keep them sharp
- Having dances with music that seniors enjoy
- Putting on programs that honor volunteers, military service or community spirit
- Holding town hall meetings to discuss future options for providing seniors with the services they need and ways to involve the community in helping make new programs a reality
Presidential Proclamation for Older Americans Month 2015
Every President since John F. Kennedy has recognized the importance of showing respect and appreciation to seniors who have given so much to our nation.
This year the President has again released a proclamation outlining the importance of this celebration. Here is the beginning of his proclamation. You can read it in its entirety here.
In America, every person who is willing to work hard and play by the rules should be able to build a life of opportunity and prosperity. We learned this simple truth from our oldest generation — the women and men who relentlessly pursued progress throughout the 20th century. Drivers of enormous change, they have enriched our Nation and bravely defended the values we cherish; they have broken down barriers and blazed pathways for all who followed; and they have raised us all and endowed us with a freer, fairer, more equal world.
After a lifetime of contributions, they have earned our care and respect, and they deserve to live out their years with dignity and independence. Our Nation is strongest when older Americans live comfortably in their golden years and have the opportunity to continue to contribute to the fabric of the country and society they helped to shape. This month, we celebrate the accomplishments and sacrifices of our elders, and we reaffirm our belief that the promise of our Nation extends to Americans of all ages.
Honoring Our Seniors
At Senior Care Corner, making better the lives of seniors through the acts and efforts of their family caregivers and caring for them and their caregivers are our passions.
We appreciate the contributions our seniors have made, not only to our country but to their families well. Our seniors have devoted their lives to raising us and now we are giving back to them in numerous ways and roles as family caregivers.
While we try to show our love and respect to our seniors every day, not just during one month of celebration, it is nice to be reminded just how important the contributions of our seniors have been throughout their lifetimes.
Sharing some special events, learning opportunities and wellness activities to improve their health is a great way to celebrate them now.